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Interviewing 101 - Yearbook

Interviewing basics for yearbook staffers

Brendan McCann

on 12 August 2016

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Transcript of Interviewing 101 - Yearbook

Interviewing 101
What kind of
A good interview is NOT this...
Closed Questions
These questions will get you short answers and simple facts, but they probably won’t get you any good quotes. These are okay to start with, but they need to be followed up with additional questions based on the answer given.
Open Questions
These are questions that will elicit a longer more detailed response. Be prepared to take notes to record quotes.
Pace Yourself
Avoid immediately going for “the quote.” Start simple and work up to more challenging questions.
Good stories start with good interviews.
Staffer: “Hey you’re on JV basketball right?”
JV player: “Um yeah…”
Staffer: “Can you give me a quote about basketball for yearbook...?”
JV player: “Uh, like what?”
Staffer: “Whatever, my deadline is tomorrow so I just need a quote.”
JV player: “Um… but like about what though?”
Staffer: “I don’t know… what was the best part about being on JV?”
JV player: “The best part is I'm not on freshman anymore.”
Staffer: “Okay thanks.”
JV: “Sure.”
Staffer: “Wait, what’s your name?”
JV: “Chris Bell”
Staff: “Okay cool”
Learn to Listen
Don’t be afraid of a little silence…
Give your interviewee time to think and respond without interrupting.
Research & Prepare
Learn all you can about your interviewee and topic beforehand. Brainstorm your questions and the angle you’re going for.

Interview the Room
Check out your surroundings and observe the interviewee. This will help you write a more thorough and descriptive story.
Comfortable & Professional
Introduce yourself, shake hands, and thank the interviewee for meeting with you. Put them at ease with the interview process.
Prepare questions, but don’t follow a script. Be ready to be surprised and ask impromptu questions. Think of it as a conversation.
Direct a Dialogue
Mirror, Follow-up or Probe Questions
These questions essentially restate what the interviewee said in order to confirm and expand on an idea. These are good questions for direct quoting.
“So you believe that teachers should not be so strict with student cellphones?”
“You hate the homework for this class or homework in general?”
“You said this might be the best piece of art you have created?”
Avoid BIASED and LOADED questions
These are questions that direct a interviewee to a particular answer, imply a certain attitude or make them feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, awkward.
“Why was the was the homecoming dance so awesome?”
“How come you play on JV even though you’re a senior?”
“How did you feel about losing the big game tonight?”
Mr. Brendan McCann
Reasons why we Interview
Transcribe ASAP
Review your interview notes while it is fresh in your mind. Highlight and make additional notes as needed.
is that
Getting the 5 W's & H (WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY & HOW)
Interaction with other humans is a good life skill.
The yearbook is about people and interviews help give people a voice.
Interviews make writing yearbook copy much easier.
What challenges
do we face when

Brandon Stanton on how to interview strangers.
Full transcript